I said it in our Baselworld 2019 preview episode of HODINKEE Radio, but I want to reiterate that one of the best parts of the watch industry's largest annual gathering is getting to see watchmaker Philippe Dufour out in the wild. The guy is a living legend and he knows it. Every year he tells me or one of my colleagues about some yet-unkown watchmaker that we should be paying attention to (past endorsements have included Romain Gauthier and Rexhep Rexhepi) and he's not afraid to lob criticism at what he perceives as sub-par watches that besmirch the good name of haute hologerie. In a word, he's the man.
So, when our intrepid producer Greyson Korhonen spotted him enjoying his signature pipe outside of Hall 1, we knew he had to see what was on the man's wrist. Would it be the Datograph that he's long talked up as one of the best watches of all time? Would it be something rare and of his own making like a Simplicity or a Duality? Nope. Philippe Dufour, dear readers, was rocking a Rolex.
The watch in question is a GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO, which is stainless steel, has a Pepsi bezel, and is fitted on a Jubilee bracelet. This is the watch that was introduced last year to great fanfare and which resulted in waitlists that are often quoted in years, not months. You might remember that Dufour mentioned being on the waitlist for this watch when he spoke with Jack on HODINKEE Radio back in September it looks like his name finally came up! He was relaxing and we didn't want to bother him too much, so we don't have the full story on how everything went down or why it was his pick for a day at Baselworld, but just seeing one of the greatest watchmakers of the last century wearing something like this brought a smile to my face.*
To learn more about the Pepsi GMT-Master II (and the new, updated "Batman" GMT-Master II), visit Rolex online.